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The Human Work Machine and Likeonomics with David Mantica

In this podcast, Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to David Mantica about the importance of understanding how the “human work machine” (our brain) functions, the impact of cognitive biases and the importance of likeonomics.

Key Takeaways

  • Brain science provides lots of information about how we relate and react to each other
  • Understanding how how the “human work machine” (our brain) functions can help us to be more effective communicators
  • The human brain wants to be efficient and is inherently pessimistic, which creates resistance to change.  It takes deliberate practice and hard work to move beyond the instinctive reaction
  • Likeonomics is the key to building trust and influencing others
  • The referent power base of sharing, supporting, mentoring, and coaching provides a lasting base for true influence


Introduction [00:20]

Shane Hastie: Good day folks. This is Shane Hastie, for the InfoQ Engineering Culture Podcast. I'm sitting down across the miles today with David Mantica. David, hi, you and I have met each other a few times now.

David Mantica: Yes we have. I'm actually virtually waving to you, Shane.

Shane Hastie: Indeed. And you're in?

David Mantica: Cary, North Carolina. It's at the east coast side about midway through. The Mid-Atlantic states is what we call it here. And Cary stands for the Containment Area for Relocated Yankees. So in the states, you have the northern states call themselves Yankees, and then down here we're southerners and that civil war is still out there a little bit in regard to how we look at one another sometimes.

Shane Hastie: We won't delve much into history today, I don't think.

David Mantica: No, not at all. They don't want to hear any of that.

Shane Hastie: It's going to have some influence on things. So first of all I suppose for our audience, who's David?

David Mantica: I am a economist guy, from education and I still use my economics background every single day. I'm a product manager by work, about 20 years of product management experience. I've probably brought 300-400 products to market, I have a good deal of executive management experience, having run my own company and successfully sold it. From that standpoint onward, now I like to do a lot of business consulting with small entrepreneurial organizations. I've work as the GM and VP for SoftEd with our U.S division. So, that's about two years so far. We just launched the division about three years ago. It's been a very exciting time, SoftEd is a New Zealand-based company with divisions in four different territories. And outside of that, I just really enjoy reading. I really enjoy getting into discussions around value, how people see value, I love behavioral economics. And you're going to hear a lot of behavioral economics in some of the things that we talk about here.

One of the really cool things is a book called Freakonomics. I was reading it, this was one of the first steps in the behavioral economics. I'm like, I know this stuff. And as I dug into the back part of the book, I realized he was taught at Harvard by the same professor I was taught at at Maryland. They had kicked him out of Harvard because he got too old, Thomas Schelling and he came to the University of Maryland College Park, and I took two classes with him and I was just mesmerized. So long story short is, I love the behavioral economic stuff and we're going to have some time to talk about a number of those issues and items.

Shane Hastie: We will indeed. So what brought us together for this conversation was a chat we had about this thing you call the human work machine. Tell us more.

Brain science [02:47]

David Mantica: Yeah. So do you know of anybody who really is taking a class or has studied how your brain truly operates? The cognitive distortions, the emotional distortions, the preset heuristic patterns it follows and most cases the answer to that is going to be no. And I do presentations on this topic, one of the first things I ask is, do you know what self-talk is? And I'm still mesmerized to find that 90% of the audience has no clue what self-talk is.

And so, I really dug very deeply into this topic over the last three or four years of my own personal reading, tied that to my economics background, my value management background, and it's just been truly fascinating. The more I talk about it, the more people get fired up and excited and thankful that they had a chance to hear. Now there's books, Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast and Slow, digs into this concept. Malcolm Gladwell digs into a number of the concepts. You can pull up any psychology textbook that's going to have it, but the psychology textbooks don't talk about it in real life terms and they don't talk about where it came from and why. So that's what people get fired up about it, and then tying it back to working their complex complicated SDLC environments really helps people get an understanding of why they are the way they are, and why people around them.

Shane Hastie: Some pretty solid references there and the brain science stuff. How does this start to translate into, as you say, how people interact with each other?

How this impacts human interaction [04:20]

David Mantica: Because you really start understanding the fact that people aren’t just jerks. So, this is what happens, in a lot of cases we process and judge somebody as a jerk and we don't really know what's going on under the covers of that jerk-ness. The other thing that is, you start realizing that you're predisposed to center yourself around people who are like you. Which then gets you into this very bad pattern of solving problems around people who are like you using the same heuristic patterns. And basically, constantly trying to solve all these different problems the same way, because you have no cognitive diversity wrapped up into it.

So when you really look at this, the first thing you have to think about is, how do I influence better? Well, the human work machine can teach you how to influence better. How can I deal with conflict better? Well, the human work machine helps you deal with that. How can I be more emotionally intelligent? Well understand the human work machine will give you a better understanding how to do situational awareness and situational management, which is stage three, stage four of emotional intelligence. So you can really start seeing that the bedrock of a lot of these things we talk about as it relates to professional skills, is really underneath the fundamentals of the human work machine. And then you can start using that knowledge to execute some of those conflict management skills, influencing skills, emotional intelligence skills, negotiating skills and stuff like that.

Shane Hastie: So let's get down into the machine. What's happening in the machine, this human work machine?

The Human Work Machine [05:50]

David Mantica: Yeah. The human work machine. Well a human work machine is your brain, your brain perceives the world that you're in, think about The Matrix. And then if you read anything on value you'll talk about this fact of your brain in the vat and if you're seeing all these things, but your brain's in the vat, do you really know if your brain is in the vat? Did Keanu Reeves's character really know that he was in The Matrix? No he didn't. And this is what happens is our brain ultimately produces a reality, and that is the reality that we see. We don't see with our eyes, our eyes process light waves to hit a retina into electrical impulses in our brain interprets those electrical impulses. We don't hear with our ears, our ears grab sound waves. Again, they process into electrical stimuli and then the electrical stimulus has to go up through our brain.

So it's in this concept of our brain processes the touch, the taste, the senses, and starts to come up with ideas for what it's seeing that all the muckety-muck occurs. The first stage of the muckety-muck is we are preset pessimists, horrible, horrible, horrible pessimists. Why? Because pessimists survive. They live. Optimists die. In evolutionary biology, if I'm a pessimist and if I see a rumbling in the bush somewhere, 10 out of 10 times, I run the way I'm going to survive to fight another day. If I'm an optimist, I go to the rustle all 10 times, the 10th time, I get eaten by saber tooth tiger and there goes my genetic lineage. Ultimately your brain wants to survive and it wants to operate efficiently. So as we look at all these predispositions, Shane, what we start seeing is this pessimism and it comes out in effective forecasting issues, loss, regret issues, time discounting issues, which we'll get into.

Then on top of that... That's at the cognition level. But even before that, we can enter the emotional layer. So your limbic system is the first system that processes all the stimulus that comes in. Eye to brain, seeing the light waves, it's interpreting it, and it attacks it from an emotional standpoint. This is your fight, flight and freeze response. So I'll stop there and say, you've got the emotional process because of the brain processing it into the limbic system. Then you have the cerebral cortex, you have the cognitive dissonance and the cognitive biases that are there because of the pessimism that has been evolutionarily, kind of dug into our synapses, if you will. And I'll let you kind of take the questions from there.

Shane Hastie: I'm hearing a lot of commonality with the triune brain theory stuff there. And that's something that we talk about in Sharon Bowman's work on Training from the BACK of the Room. How do these things start to influence us? So we've got the inherent pessimism, we've got this desire for efficiency, which Malcolm Gladwell's work on Blink in particular taps into, what do we do? How do we become the rational being that we want to be?

We’re never going to be truly rational [08:42]

David Mantica: We're never going to truly be rational. You know, the other debate would be here, if you're getting philosophical, would be is there any really, truly any free will? And I'll debate with you for the rest of the show that there really isn't free will. You're born into a box, that box by which is creates your mindsets and your initial heuristic patterns. And then most of us don't break from that initial mindset and heuristic patterns to see the world from a different perspective, and thus, we don't have free will. But the first step is understanding. We got to get people to understand that this is what's happening to them. And if you know it's happening to you, then you can start trying to fight it. And there are techniques and tools to fight it. But the reality is, the first scenario... We'll talk about loss regret real quick, a cognitive distortion. If I get beyond the emotional issues of fight, flight and freeze, then I'm left with, I don't want to change because I'd rather do nothing than do something and fail.

The brain inherently resists change [09:34]

David Mantica: Brain efficiency survival. Brain wants to survive. Brain wants to be efficient. Brain knows today, it sees today, it touches today. It knows what's going on and it's taught itself how to deal with today's problems. If you try to change me to something that you think is going on, then I'm going to have to spend a lot of energy and a lot of effort. My brains, I'm talking like my brain, to figure that out, so I'm going to stop you from doing that. I'm going to tell you don't change, stay here. And if you try to, I'm going to make you nervous. I'm going to send you down to the limbic system and start having you have emotional responses to this possible change and your three electrical centers are your brain, your heart and your intestines. And you'll start having issues like headaches, heart palpitations, bathroom issues. And I could go on and on. associated with that.

That's part of the process. If you know, you can attack, if you don't know, then you are ruled and you think you aren't, but you're ruled by the fact that your brain is going to keep you in this box. And the last thing I'll say... I don't want to monologue too much on this because on a podcast you want to have a lot of good interaction, is that our brains are 2% of our body, but it takes 20% of the energy. And we don't feed it appropriately, and because we don't feed it appropriately it likes to work in that system one preset efficient heuristic patterns.

Shane Hastie: How do we start moving out of this? You've mentioned just awareness as a starting point. How do I build the muscle to start to embrace change perhaps? Because we're constantly asking people, and if we look at the society and the world around us, we've got to adapt today. We talk about responding at the speed of change and change is accelerating.

We tell people to change but we don’t give them the tools to do so [11:14]

David Mantica: We tell them to, but we don't give them the tools, brother. We tell them here's what you got to do. Yet we don't tell you you're fighting a battle with two hands tied behind your back and one eye patched and half an ear barely functioning. So, the first thing is that if you can keep yourself aware and processing information at as much of a consistent basis as possible, that's going to really help you be able to make determinations of situations better than if you're not keeping yourself aware. But that's really hard because now your emotional brain is on fire because you're living in this high sensory, “oh my God at any moment something is going to happen”. So if you just say that, that's not necessarily the best thing to do. So what I would initially say, what we usually talk about, is we take a step back and we start thinking about whether some of the inputs that caused the habits that we have developed to perpetuate the system one thinking.

One of the first habits we have developed is the instantaneous information, instantaneous emails, instantaneous tweets, instantaneous news feeds. We have to slowly start pushing ourselves to push those aside at certain times during the day and be able to take some time to do some deep thinking, some deeper critical thinking. And this, sometimes people call this deep literacy. We've lost our ability to have deep literacy. And inside the deep literacy is the ability to read a 15 page white paper there at your desk without interruption. And then on the side of the paper, start writing critiquing notes.

Self-awareness and deep literacy [12:44]

David Mantica: I don't agree with this for this reason. I don't agree... Forcing yourself to have to put your system two brain into action by using that critical thinking mechanism that instead of looking for the sound bite, that sounds really good, that feeds your limbic system, that feeds your system one and say, oh, that's right. You force yourself to dig a little deeper and you practice that skill and you practice that skill through setting up times during the day by which you will read, which you'll do critical thinking. And there's other techniques we can talk through, but the awareness aspect is first and foremost. And ultimately too, one of the things we want to talk about is we should be aware of all the things that we have to watch out for before we can tackle them.

Shane Hastie: So that's a concrete habit that we can start doing, put aside some time for that. What you're calling deep literacy.

David Mantica: Deep literacy, yes. Thinking, and then tying it to creative thinking and putting notes and writing things down and debating it. I hate web seminars sometimes because nobody's debating me. Write in the chat something you disagree with as you're listening to me, engage it in your mind by saying "you're full of blankety-blank." I would rather have that, respectfully. And then let's debate why it is that you might or might not agree with that. But that takes energy instead of just listening and absorbing the sound that's coming in and not engaging it at a higher level.

Shane Hastie: Yeah. If I think of the in-person conferences, the hallway track, the conversations that happen between the sessions. And sitting down at the end of the day with colleagues and sometimes having those deep discussions about, "okay, I heard this in a talk today and that resonated, and this didn't." This is something we have really, really lost in the last year and a bit with the force to virtual, how do we bring it back?

Human beings are communal entities [14:34]

David Mantica: You know, here's the thing, we are communal entities. We've learned and grown throughout our history and communities, tied to storytelling, troubadours singing songs. Iliad and the Odyssey was basically a story that was passed on and on by groups. In America here, people used to go run around reading newspapers, to people who couldn't read in communities. So we have to understand and realize that that communal aspect of our humanity has to be embraced or else you're going to start getting this continued blockage and wall coming up around wanting to hear difficult things, and then not being able to connect with unlike people. So because of that, we have to start deciding... Remote is great, but there are remote hybrid opportunities that we can start embracing when, where, and how. If we're going to keep going remote, how can we bring up communities where we can have continual conversations among a larger group of people than just twos or threes?

And then how do we force people to let themselves express themselves better in this environment? But I'm going to probably say something here that's not going to be very, very, very well received. We are a communal creature, we need get together. And so I think that's got to come back in certain ways, not a hundred percent and not completely forced, but without that we're going to lose some of the value of our humanity with regard to our ability to do cognitive diverse, creative thinking, by connecting with someone. Because the less we can connect with them physically, the less that we're going to be able to drop the walls that stop us from thinking deeply about issues that are different than what we see and feel and think ourselves. It's a really hard topic, Shane, and it's a scary topic because we all like our remote work a little bit too. It's making us less human.

Shane Hastie: Yeah. Given that we know this, what can we do?

Engage the world with likeonomics [16:33]

David Mantica: Well, I think the first thing we've got to say to ourselves, is we got to say to ourselves, how can I be a part of the solution? So if I'm thinking with my system two brain, and I'm thinking deep literacy, I'm trying to share my abilities and my skill sets. So, as I start to engage the world, I'm going to start to try to engage the world in not a preachy and evangelical way, which then pisses people off and they completely shut down. But to begin understanding the art of influence and beginning understanding the elements of Likeonomics, that I can begin to influence this concept in a positive way. And not completely turn somebody off. So, the art of influence and this idea of Likeonomics are tied to the human work machine. And the first thing I got to do is I got to understand people are coming from a pessimistic mindset.

If I have to go back to the office, oh my God, my gas bill's going to go up. I lose the 30 minutes I had already gained. That's not fair. And then trying to reframe and understand that they're not being a jerk. These are just the loss regret issues coming about. And how do I then influence that action and activity to bring back some of that humanity that we need in a communal environment. So we could talk a little about that art of influence and some of those Likeonomic issues as well, if you'd like to, but that's one of the first steps is how do I communicate? And how do I influence understanding I'm going to go against the lot of initial negative thought?

Shane Hastie: Let's explore these things. You've mentioned Likeonomics and the art of influence.

David Mantica: I think Likeonomics is the bedrock there. So you have to understand that someone's going to judge you initially by trust and competence when they connect with you. So that's the initial process they're going to have and that trust and competence will then ultimately open you up to have an initial conversation. And competence has an element of Likeonomics, which is really important. And there are things in Likeonomics that people don't understand that go way beyond just being nice. And if you think about it, there's a lot of nice people you know that you can't stand. Why don't I like this nice person? Well, because either they're not competent, you don't trust them or they're missing some of these Likeonomic elements. So as I'm going to start to try to influence something, the first thing is I got to decide, am I being relevant?

David Mantica: If I am coming to the conversation, trying to influence a situation, how relevant am I in my debate in my conversation? The less relevant you are and the less likable you are, the more the person's going to shut down. Number two is simple. The world is built on people that can take complex things and make them simple, make them understandable. We all know that the SDLC, the systems that we work on, these interconnected environments we work with are hugely complex. But we can take them and try to bring them into more simple constructs. And we can have conversations about the simple base issues at play. The base issue is I want to regain the humanity at work. That's the simple concept. There's a lot of complexity around that, let's debate the value of humanity in it, and what does that humanity word mean? That means I'm emotional. I can connect with those emotions. I can feel for you. So simple is number two.

Number three is timing, Shane. Most of the mistakes in Likeonomics are tied to timing. Poor timing, I come at you at the wrong time. I start to have this debate with you when you're in the middle of trying to finish a complex schedule document, or you're in a deep literacy moment, and you're really digging into this very complex article you're reading. You're trying to decipher it and process it and I'm coming, throwing out, not only this non-relevant thing to you, but also I have very poor timing. And then after that is this idea of being trustworthy. Again, the trust and being transparent and the whole emperor's robe story where the emperor was swindled because he was such a harsh and cruel emperor. The swindlers came and made him a robe, which was nothing and he walked around naked because nobody would tell him that he was naked, and that concept.

And then finally, the last one is being unselfish. Because we can spot selfish people a mile away, and as I'm coming, making an argument or having a discussion with you and somebody senses that it's for selfish... If I'm trying to manipulate you, or I'm trying to get some type of gain associated with what I'm talking about, then they're going to sense that, and they're again, going to shut down. And they're not going to want to engage me at a different level and try to bring their system two brain into play, because they're going to feel loss regret. They're going to be scared of something else and then shut down. So those are the five elements of Likeonomics.

Shane Hastie: And those become influence, how? How do I influence without coming across as that manipulative person?

The importance of ethical influence [21:16]

David Mantica: Ah, there's a whole concept now of people talking about ethical influence. And so that is by far the most important question to ask yourself, especially someone who is thinking deeply, who is looking at this, who could come back and debate me and say, "Dave, we should all be rational creatures that don't need to be influenced." Yes, in a perfect world that's exactly what should happen. We should all be operating at a rational level, using our system two minds, creatively thinking, coming up with judgments and then making determinations and execute. We don't because we have that emotional baggage. We have that limbic system baggage. We have all these other distortion baggages. So the first thing is, are you an executer, Shane? So when you really look at this, are you a strategy guy or gal or person, or are you somebody who actually gets things done?

Are you an executer? Strategies all well and done, but in large complex environments, you can turn a strategy into a circle diagram, just spinning around doing the same things over and over again. At some point you have to pop out and execute. So the difference between somebody who's influencing from the manipulation and somebody is influencing for positive results is around the execution element.

Even if you have a selfish intent, as long as you're transparent about that selfish intent and you're trying to execute, you can overcome this issue of, "oh, this person's, sleazily trying to influence me and manipulate me to do something" because then you have inside one of the cognitive dissonances is quid pro quo. You're just in there thinking, "they're asking me to do this so they can get a favor for me at another side." And you know, that happens in government all the time, but that's another cognitive distortion that an influencer has to watch out for is you have to be understanding and articulate that I am doing this to get to this type of return. This is what I'm trying to achieve. And that's kind of the basis of the referent power base as well. I'm all over the place here, but I love going in all these different directions. Does that make sense?

Shane Hastie: Yep. So being transparent, being an executer is that it?

Five simple influencing scenarios [23:17]

David Mantica: In some ways, Shane, that's very simple. So I'll give you five simple influencing scenarios. The first thing is making people comfortable. You want to be a strong influencer, get people comfortable. Because you wanna go through that initial limbic brain, the fight, flight and freeze. What are you coming to me for? Hey, let's talk, let's connect as human beings. That human being connection reduces the limbic brains and their effect on somebody's ability to cognate. And here's the skinny, if your limbic brain is going crazy, it's shooting cortisol, it's shooting adrenaline into your body and it's blocking cognition. Because both those hormones block cognition and focus on your muscles, your legs, your fight, flight or freeze. So can you put somebody at ease? Can you get them comfortable? Smile. I was doing some interviewing techniques with someone the other day and I said, "dude, you have to smile more."

That smile is going to come across as a connection mechanism. It's going to make somebody feel more comfortable with you. So that's the first thing. The second thing is you do have to put people at ease. I mean, you have to read people. You have to have some basic understanding of certain human being tells. If somebody stands up when you're in the room, when you're talking, that's a tell that maybe the timing is wrong. How are they bending, forward? Are they bending back? Are they engaging you with eye contact, have they pulled her eye contact away? There's a lot of different tells that you can start seeing. And remember, language, as we both know is 60%, 50-60% body language. And we lose that in these virtual environments as well.

And then the other part is tone. If you can't hear tone, some people are tone deaf. That's a form of reading people. Read the tone. So then once you got that down, then it's an idea of, are you coming to the table with solutions? And as you influence, you're bringing ideas to the table. Here are some thoughts. Here's some ways that we can tackle this problem. Here are some ways that we can look at an approach this from an angle that you may not have seen before, but here's the dreaded issue associated with that, Shane. You can't expect your solutions to be followed. As part of influence you have to accept the fact that someone may or may not follow the ideas that you bring to the table. And you've got to accept that. That's just part of the fact that not all of your ideas are going to be practiced.

And I think that's one of the things that people make a big mistake on in influence in that it turns the person off right off the bat. Then after that, the next influencing technique is you have to be, and this is the whole agile scenario, you talk about this, you have to have as much radical candor as possible. You have to be transparent, but also provide respect. And I talked about that early on in this episode, you can debate me all you want, just be respectful about it. And then we can share our ideas going back and forth. The more transparent person, the more that you're trying to provide value back and support, the more there's going to be a connection made there. And that radical candor is a very important thing, but here's the problem, most of us live without psychological safety. And so we can't practice influencing techniques, so we're not transparent. So we let somebody go down the primrose path and then they get zapped. And then ultimately you lose your influencing creds.

And then the last piece here before we'll end up with the whole strategy manipulation thing is using that referent power base. And you have the positional power base, you have the coercion power base, you have the expert power base, you have the informational power base, you have the reward power base and all those power bases are all well and good, but most of them erode; the expert power erodes as things change, the informational power base is only as good as the information you got.

It's that referent power base of sharing, supporting, mentoring, and coaching that provides a lasting base for true influence. And that positional power base is, as we both know, eroding as organizations flatten. And I think there's like 30% less management jobs now than there were in 2000 as organizations continue to flatten. And then the last piece of this is what we were talking through was this idea that you have to focus on being, not a manipulator and not a strategy person. You have to focus on the execution. And if you can focus on that execution and articulate in terms of what you're going to deliver, and then you can be a very powerful influencer.

Shane Hastie: Some deep, deep topics here. We've mentioned a few subjects as we've gone through. Could you give us a quick list of where are some topics or some, maybe some books or authors that people could go and explore more about these things?

References and further reading [27:50]

David Mantica: The first thing, if you've gotten to the point where you feel like you have some control of your limbic system, then I would say, you want to look at Malcolm Gladwell's two books, David and Goliath and Outliers are both phenomenally good at talking about some of the cognitive biases we have. And as an agilist, Shane, you realize that, you know, the story point estimating was all about the fact that we're horrible estimators. Well we're horrible estimators because of the ingrained pessimism that we have. And this is tied back to an effective forecasting issue. And the fact that we blow up negative environments, we make mountains out of molehills. And then we also blow up positive environments. That's the hockey stick estimates that we see a lot in a lot of startups. So this goes back to our ingrained pessimism and some of our ingrained biases. So he really shows that in great light and another really fun book is, and I think a very powerful book that goes back to the cognitive biases and using your system one brain is Moneyball.

Moneyball is about the American baseball and I know in your country, it's cricket and soccer and rugby, but American baseball's 150 years old, built on the foundation of statistics that you can only imagine. And what happened is that baseball people just got stuck in the system one thinking of: these are the traits, these are the numbers. And then somebody finally popped out and said, whoa, used their system two brain analyzed it in a whole other perspective, and poof, here comes one of the best teams in the league, lowest salary because of data processing. So that's a really, really, powerful book that kind of... Those three books show when you get stuck in system one thinking what can happen to your business and they use the same patterns of thought and then how our cognitive biases impact our ability to make decisions that get us in big trouble.

And some of the stories of David and Goliath are just so profound because it really says a ha oh my gosh, I believe I've done that before. And then the next book on the whole idea of the human work machine, certainly Daniel Kahneman's book on Thinking Fast and Slow is probably the best book to really dig into how our brain operates at that system one level. And then how do we push our brains into this system two level to get deeper thinking and deeper cognition? Then as we talk about these issues like psychological safety and agile leadership, basically what we're trying to do is build environments to allow people to freely open up their system two brain and feel good about it and not close it down and be pessimistic and fearful. And if you get to that point, that it can be really, really, really magical.

And then the other book I really liked that goes into why we have to be thinking with our system two brain all the time is The Black Swan and The Black Swan was written to talk about why we can no longer protect disruption as single point, that we need a wisdom of the crowds perspective, we need to get that lattice of leadership that we need to bring in a collective mindset. And the collective mindset has to be managed together, and it has to stay cognitively fired up, or it's still going to miss it. It's a little bit of an arrogant book, but it really showcases, oh my gosh, this whole idea of positional authority and that guru sitting on the mountain and making all the decisions should scare the crap out of you, it's not possible. So anyways, those are some of the references and the books I would tell people to dig into. Maybe a couple of older references and some of the newer stuff out there. But I think they're fundamentally very strong in the areas that we're talking about here.

Shane Hastie: David, if the audience wants to continue the conversation with you, where do they find you?

David Mantica: I do a lot on LinkedIn. My name is very unique, Shane, probably as yours is too. So if you just type in David M-A-N-T-I-C-A on the LinkedIn, I have my podcasts up there. We do have the Better Work Project podcast at SoftEd, so you can find me there and you find a lot of my content there as well website too. And then we get very deep into the adaptive leadership piece of this, which takes all this underlying stuff that we've talked about and starts creating things that you can execute on. Tactics and techniques that you can get into dealing with the unknown unknowns and dealing with being comfortably uncomfortable.

Shane Hastie: David, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today.

David Mantica: Thank you for having me. Thank you for letting me come talk randomly about this very interesting and wide and deep subject. Thank you, Shane.

Shane Hastie: It's been fun.


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